America and the Americans | OP-ED
Why the emphasis on America and Americano defines the United States and Americans?
MORE IN THIS SECTION
Recently, Leon Krauze, the new acclaimed anchor of Univision News Night Edition, used the word "Afroestadounidenses" concerning minority statistics on issues. But, not only has he used that word to refer to the black population of the United States.
What exists in recent times is linguistic revisionism. For example, there is a tendency to eliminate "americano" as a demonym for persons born in the U.S.A. For decades the Spanish-language Media, university academics, and institutions used "Afroamericanos" and "Mexicoamericanos" as gentilics.
Forty-three years ago, when I started my journalistic journey in the United States already existed the Cruz Roja Americana (ARC), the Sociedad Americana del Cáncer (ACS), the Asociación Americana del Corazón (AHA), the Asociación Americana del Pulmón (ALA), and the Fondo Mexico Americano Educacional y de Defensa Legal (MALDEF).
Never was it thought to commit the foolishness to translate MALDEF as the Fondo Educativo y de Defensa Legal México-Estadounidense, like nowadays. Newly arrived Latin American immigrants are uncomfortable that the "gringos" take the word American because the inhabitants of the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego in the south also consider themselves Americans. But we have to understand why the emphasis on America and Americano defines the United States and Americans.
The Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary (DRAE) says in two of its six entries referring to Americano the following:
In the first:" Native of America." From the whole continent.
And in the fourth: "estadounidense.
"The paradigm is that estados unidos without identifying a place or territory is a system of federated government.
That is why some countries of our continent have borne or bear the name of the United States. Without going any further, the official name of Mexico is Estados Unidos Mexicanos, used in the constitutions of 1824 and 1917.
- The United States of Colombia between 1863 and 1886
- The United States of Venezuela between 1864 and 1953
- The United States of Brazil between 1889 and 1967
- The United States of Central America in 1898, a nation formed by El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.
Even there was the United States of Buenos Aires and Chile, which lasted from 1818 to 1820 in the Colombian island of San Andrés. The sailor, Louis-Michel Aury, plenipotentiary ambassador of both countries, commanded the joint venture.
But the only country called the United States of America is where I live. So it has been since the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 245 years ago.
The United States of America has impacted the popular culture in the Americas, including the language. That is why we say automóvil americano, café americano, pagar a la americana, cortina americana, barra americana, y Futbol Americano.
Furthermore, Piero’s iconic song is called "Los Americanos." No los estadounidenses.
The famous William Lederer y Eugene Burdick 1958 novel in Spanish is "El americano feo," and the 1963 movie starring Marlon Brando.
Americano should be used without reservations and leave aside that absent-minded purist spirit of assigning "estadounidense" to entities or compound words that look and sounds false.